App of the Week Curt Brandao reviews a smartphone app that can help wayward geeks find other useful smartphone apps.
Discovr Apps finds more of what you already love
History is strewn with the many victims of the Digital Age: penmanship, table manners, bookstores, vinyl records, eye contact - measured, reflective, ponderous thought - to name a few.
But on that rare occasion when our always-on connection drops off, no old-school skill is more sorely missed than our once innate sense of direction.
There was a time when human beings could find the nearest coffee shop without the help of a satellite orbiting 20 kilometres above our heads. In a pinch, one might even ask a passerby for directions, rather than text a friend who probably still remembers even though they moved to Hong Kong 18 months ago.
But now, the only thing that distinguishes a GPS-disabled geek from a lost four-year-old child is the lack of empathy our blubbering generates from Good Samaritans.
Thankfully, most of us can still navigate the real world most of the time, as long as we pick the right apps to help us process it. But when it comes to finding apps themselves, we often seem left to our own wayward devices just to fill up our devices.
Fortunately, there's Discovr Apps (Dh3.67, iPhone, iPad) an app-finding app that can help you cull the more than 500,000 iOS apps on the iTunes store (Android users might try a similar app called Appreciate to siphon through their operating system's estimated 200,000 apps).
Once you open Discovr Apps, it leads you down a kind of interacting flow chart (or app tree) that shows you apps that are tangentially related to the ones you already have (or those it recommends). Click on the Facebook icon, and it expands to show six or so related social networking apps (Foursquare, Twitter, AroundMe, etc). Click on any one of those and the process repeats itself - becoming a kind of "six degrees of separation" experiment for your smartphone. You can then double tap any app icon to learn more before you download it.
After few clicks down the rabbit hole from the Twitter app, you might find yourself looking at the Food Finda Australia app, for example, probably wondering just how you got there.
It almost doesn't matter which path you take because Discovr Apps offers you the ability to make sense of the otherwise unmanageable colossus that is the iTunes app store. Discovr Apps knows what apps you love and can quickly introduce you to their cousins, perhaps several times removed, that you might enjoy as well.
With Discovr Apps, we need never feel lost again, unless we're asked to find our dessert fork or write something in longhand.
Have some great personal finance apps that you want to share? Write to Curt Brandao at firstname.lastname@example.org